Pensioner may have been stabbed to death for £70

A "COMPASSIONLESS" killer, who stabbed an old woman in a "sustained and sickening" attack on Christmas Eve, came prepared to murder her for as little as £70, it was revealed yesterday.

Margaret "Peggy" Weir, 93, died without a struggle from multiple stab wounds, indicating that she was immediately struck down, possibly as she opened the door to her killer.

Mrs Weir was murdered early on Christmas Eve in the hallway of her home at Raglan Street, Woodside, Glasgow.

The killer stepped over the body of the old woman, who had received her pension money the day before.

There was no sign of forced entry; Mrs Weir knew the killer or had, as was her habit, left her door unlocked.

Detective Superintendent Kenny Watters, leading the inquiry, could not contain his anger yesterday as he spoke of even time-served detectives being appalled.

"I do not minimise the effect of other murders, but in my years of investigating violent death, this has no comparison," he said.

Mrs Weir was discovered by a neighbour at 8am on 24 December.

The manner in which the body of the partially deaf woman, with a reputation for kindness, was found, indicated a brutal and unprovoked assault.

Mr Watters added: "I want everyone to know how Peggy died.

"It was not as a result of a frail lady being knocked over. This was a sickening, sustained assault. Anyone who could use this level of violence against a frail old lady is compassionless."

Detectives dismissed reports that she had been robbed days before her murder.

They believe she was murdered about 5am. Witnesses reported a commotion and doors being knocked in the flats, which are primarily occupied by the elderly. It may have been Mrs Weir’s murderer searching for a victim.

However, they remain open-minded, although the murder hunt continues to concentrate on Mrs Weir’s block.

Various theories have been presented - an opportunist, a desperate drug addict, youths, or even a teenage girl gang.

But Mr Watters would not be pinned down as he issued an appeal for three men.

The first man, in his thirties, was seen in St George’s Road walking toward St George’s Cross. A second man, described as 5ft 5in, wearing dark clothing, was observed near a stairwell of the flats.

A third - aged 50 to 60 - was seen standing beside a tree outside the block. He is thin-faced with white hair and was wearing a dark bomber jacket.

Mr Watters said: "I have no reason to suggest they are involved, but we’d like their help."

The murder shocked the community and police patrols have been increased.

Mrs Weir was known for kindness, a woman from another generation who gave small loans to neighbours.

There was no impropriety in that. "It was neighbourliness," said Mr Watters.